The new Windows Phone 8.1 introduces a new voice assistant called Cortana. To find out how does it compare in handling day to day voice commands, WPCentral has done a simple shootout against Siri and Google Now. The Siri unit was running on the current iPhone 5S while Google Now was tested using the Moto X.
Overall there’s no clear winner but Cortana seems to be performing quite well despite being an early beta. Not bad considering the other 2 have been established for quite some time now. So far the key advantages of Cortana is the ease of doing a Foursquare check in and toggle settings by voice. Other than that, any unknown commands will generally lead to Search, including request to open specific websites.
Watch the video after the break.
The newly announced Windows Phone 8.1 comes with a new WordFlow keyboard that allows faster typing with swiping gestures. This is similar to Swype and SwiftKey Flow that auto predict words by gliding your finger across the on-screen keyboard.
To celebrate its new keyboard in a big way, the folks at Microsoft had created a new Guinness World record for the fastest texting in just 18.44 seconds. This was achieved by Gaurav Sharma at Microsoft’s Research Cafeteria in Redmond, beating the previous record of 20.53 seconds.
Like the previous speed typing records, they would need to type the following 160 characters in the fastest way possible:
The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.
You can check out the video of Gaurav setting the record after the break.
You can replay back last night’s Microsoft Build keynote event where they announced the latest Windows Phone 8.1 along with the new Nokia devices – The Lumia 630, Lumia 635 and Lumia 930. Better get comfy as the video is 3 hours long.
Watch it after the break.
Alongside its flagship Nokia Lumia 930, the Finnish smart phone maker has also announced a couple of affordable Windows Phone 8.1 devices with the Lumia 630 and Lumia 635. The Lumia 630 is the cheaper 3G model and comes with both single SIM and dual-SIM variants. Meanwhile the Lumia 635 comes with a Single SIM slot but has support for faster 4G LTE connectivity. Design wise, they look like the Nokia X series but runs on Windows Phone platform.
All 3 models are identically internally and the front comes with a 4.5″ IPS display that does a FWVGA resolution of 854×480 pixels. Powering the device is a 1.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 400 processor with 512MB of RAM and 8GB of on-board storage. It also gets a microSD slot which supports up to the latest 128GB microSD card.
For taking pictures, it settles for a 5MP camera that does 720p HD videos but lacks LED flash illumination. All 3 smart phones get a modest 1,830mAh capacity battery which is pretty decent for this price range. The devices are available with a variety of striking colours – Bright Orange, Bright Green, Bright Yellow, White and Black. The back covers are removable and you can customise the phone with a variety of changeable shells.
For the 3G supported Lumia 630, it supports HSPA+ speeds up to 21Mbps while the Lumia 635 supports a faster HSPA+ up to 42Mbps and 4G LTE speeds up to 100Mbps. Pricing wise, the Lumia 630 will be priced at US$159 (about RM521) for the Single SIM version while the Dual-SIM version is priced at US$169 (about RM554). The Lumia 630 is expected to be available in May starting with Asia, Russia, China, India and Europe. The 4G LTE supported Lumia 635 will be sold at US$189 (about RM620) and it will be available sometime in July.
Microsoft has just announced Cortana, its new Voice Assistant which comes with the latest Windows Phone 8.1. It is a rather interesting mobile assistant feature which takes on the likes of Siri and Google Now. To trigger Cortana, just tap on the physical Search Icon from any screen in Windows Phone 8.1.
As you would expect from a Voice Assistant, you can use Cortana to run search, call contacts, write SMS and set Alarms or reminders at specific times. Apart from the usual voice search commands, Cortana also offers contextual content such as traffic info to work, current weather, favourite game scores and preferred news which is similar to Google Now. There’s a new feature called Quiet Hours which is kinda like DND mode that mutes notifications during specific hours. You’ll also get to create a list of family and close friend contacts to bypass the Quiet Hours and there’s also an option to alert you if the same number tried to call you twice within 3 minutes. The usage of Cortana is also expandable with 3rd party app integration. In the hands-on video by WPCentral, you can launch app specific commands such as FourSquare Check-in through Cortana.
Check out the promo and a rather detail hands-on video by WPCentral after the break.
Nokia has just announced its new Lumia 930, which is basically the international version of the Nokia Lumia Icon that’s exclusive to Verizon. The new flagship device carries a Full HD 5″ AMOLED display that boast a wide near-180 degree viewing angle and is toughen with Gorilla Glass 3. Internally it runs on a 2.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage.
For imaging, it gets a familiar 20.7MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens while selfie shots are handled by a 1.2MP camera that does HD 720p videos. Capturing Full HD videos on the Lumia 930 is also complemented with 4 high performance mics for better audio recording. If the 6″ Nokia Lumia 1520 is too huge for you, the Lumia 930 is looking like compact alternative. Powering the device is a 2,320mAh capacity battery and it also comes with Wireless Charging as standard.
Design wise, the Lumia 930 is assembled with premium feeling materials with aluminium frame and metallic accents. The back comes with striking polycarbonate colours with a choice of bright orange, bright green and black. Out of the box, it runs on the latest Windows Phone 8.1 and it also supports 4G LTE bands as well. The Lumia 930 is priced at US$599 (about RM1,963) and is expected to be available June onwards.
Head after the break for the promo video and images of the Lumia 930.
Viber Out which offers cheaper voice calls is now available for Windows Phone platform. This is made possible with the updated Viber 4.1 version for Windows Phones 8 devices. Viber Out was initially launched for Android, iOS and desktop users in December last year. Also new with this release is the ability to send video message, multiple photos and support for hands-free bluetooth headset.
In terms of rates, a Viber Out call to a landline in Singapore, United States and the United Kingdom would cost just US$0.019 (or RM0.06) per minute while mobile calls would be charged slightly higher. You can check out the full rates over at Viber’s website.
Nokia is known for 2 things – An awesome camera and durable phones associated with iconic Nokia 3310. Today is a very special day and they have announced the 3310 PureView, marrying trusted reliability with their epic 41MP PureView camera.
The 3310 PureView retains as much of the design of its former 3310 but underneath it runs on a newer Windows Phone platform. The typical capacitive buttons for Windows Phone have been cleverly moved onto the physical buttons of old with minor tweaks. The screen is obviously bigger with a 3″ touch screen display with ClearDiamond technology pushing a respectable 720p HD resolution. Powering the device is a dual-core 1.5GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with microSD expansion slot.
The biggest disappointment is the lack of 4G LTE and probably due to mass pressure, Nokia says that they will be releasing a 4G version sometime later. To relive your nostalgic years, Nokia is bundling games such as Snake II, Pairs II and Space Impact with the 3310 PureView. In addition, the 3310 PureView also lets you compose original monophonic ringtones as well.
Exactly a year ago, DiGi had offered pre-orders for classic phones like the Nokia 3310 and Motorola StarTAC.
[ SOURCE ]
It has been a while since Samsung released a Windows Phone device. The last we’ve seen was the ATIV S which was loosely based on the Galaxy S III Android smart phone. Now @evleaks has posted a picture of its new Samsung ATIV SE which is destined for US Verizon network.
From the leaked image above, the new ATIV SE is likely to have a Full HD 1920×1080 resolution screen with the rest of its hardware to be based on the last year’s Galaxy S4 4G LTE model. Compared to its Android based Galaxy S4, the ATIV SE appears to be better built with a aluminium-like back panel. So far no word on its availability or pricing and it is too early to tell if this would be made available internationally.
Would you consider a Windows Phone 8 from Samsung? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.
[ SOURCE ]
Nokia’s Refocus app is now available for all Lumia devices that’s running on Windows Phone 8. Initially the Refocus app was made available for PureView devices including the Lumia 920, Lumia 925, Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520. If you’re using a Nokia Lumia device with WP8, head over here to download.
The app is a rather interesting feature which takes several pictures and then lets you pick which subject to focus. Alternatively you can even select all objects in both foreground and background to be in focus as well. Other smart phone makers including Samsung, Sony and LG has deployed a similar “selective focus” feature in their latest flagship device. The all new HTC One is said to be offering a Hardware execution with its Duo Camera set up.
You can try out the Refocus App demo after the break.